White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said that President Donald Trump has no plans to cut back on weekends at his private Mar-a-Lago club because those trips are “part of being President.”
“I think that is a vast reach to suggest,” Spicer said during his daily briefing in response to a question about whether Trump plans to take fewer trips to Mar-a-Lago in light of his professed respect for taxpayers’ money.
Politico estimated in February that Trump’s first visit to Mar-a-Lago as president could cost taxpayers more than $3 million. That figure was based on a report by the Government Accountability Office about a trip President Barack Obama took in 2013.
Trump has so far spent six weekends at his club in Palm Beach, Florida, since his inauguration.
Spicer said that Trump “carries the apparatus of the White House” wherever he goes.
“I mean, presidents always travel,” he said. “That is just something that happens.”
“No president has traveled so often and so early to their own private residence,” Bloomberg reporter Shannon Pettypiece said.
“President Bush went to Crawford,” Spicer said, referring to President George W. Bush’s trips to his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
“Not as often,” Pettypiece replied.
“I get it, I get it. But at the same time, the President is very clear that he works seven days a week,” Spicer said. “This is where he goes to see his family. He brings people down there. This is part of being President.”